KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Karim Ibrahim is the new president of Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF).
He defeated challenger Datuk Wan Hisham Wan Salleh by majority of 25 votes.
But it was Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, who stole the show by making a mockery of the election process.
Shahidan, the former president of MAF, had withdrawn from contesting the top post on Thursday. He made a U-turn on Friday. And on Saturday, just hours before voting was supposed to begin at Dewan Komanwel in Bukit Jalil, he pulled out again.
Even out-going president Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad lambasted Shahidan.
“It is unbecoming of a Cabinet minister to treat the election as a circus,” said Zainal.
Otherwise, the election went as expected with Karim garnering 33 votes to Wan Hisham’s eight in the fight for the top post.
Karim, who thanked all the delegates for voting for him, vowed to work hard to raise the standard of athletics.
“My immediate target is next year’s Singapore SEA Games. I want to see Malaysian athletes do well ... although it is too early to talk about the number of gold medals we can win,” he said.
The election threw up a totally new line-up of office bearers for the two-year term (2014-2016).
Datuk S.M. Muthu defeated Datuk R. Annamalai by 26-15 to be elected as the new deputy president.
The four new vice-presidents are Datuk Noorul Ariffin Majeed, Datuk Rosni Sohar, M. Iyaru and Datuk Tham Siew Kai.
MAF general manager Datuk Kenneth J. Luis tendered his resignation before the election began.